Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday, June 23
OK, so I've fallen off the blogging wagon a bit this month. Had a few posts ready, but they seemed unexciting. I really want to avoid completely boring my small but loyal gang of followers.

So .... here, in a nutshell, is what's happened:

  • Our site got shut down for a half day by the Workplace Safety patrol -- apparently the company hired to do the foundation had "catwalks" that were too thin. Yes, we had catwalks. It was quickly and easily addressed when the company bought larger pieces of wood to walk on. The best part was when the husband overheard the Workplace Safety guy growl"That's it. I'm shutting you down." It was very exciting. Like we were fostering child labour or something ......

  • There was some pretty good drama with the neighbour and a bush. It's all good now, we think. Nothing more to be said about that one.

  • The foundation is done. The basement looked like a huge gray swimming pool with a gravel bottom. The four year old was touring around in the future basement and let us know he would like: "Y'know one of those basements that has toys and a TV and is clean." This is in direct contrast to our old 100 year old basement, with the trap door access, the 6-foot ceilings, tree trunk support beams, creepy spider-webby stone foundation walls and mystery smells. It used to scare us down there.

  • We ordered the windows. That one was a bit ouchy on the pocketbook. There are a lot of brand new shiny windows! The husband and I got into it pretty good about the window opening cranks. I kind of hate them. He just wanted to order them. We are supposed to have loads of window seats .... as if we want those crank things sticking out! But I am assured that the double hungs (the ones you can slide up or down) won't work for our larger windows. And I am also assured that the new fancy cranks are molded to be flush and are kind of curvy looking and much more aestetically pleasing to me. I relented. I am sooo reasonable sometimes.

Where are we now ...

We are almost completely backfilled. This means there isn't 10 ft "moat" around the foundation anymore. We have only one small section to complete. Because we live in a downtown area, they had to cart off our dirt, store it somewhere, and then haul it back to fill in the remaining hole. We had to pay to have our dirt stored. Sigh.

So now we are framing. This is quite exciting. There is something being put together, they are building our future walls and floors. In two weeks, most of the structure will be erected. This part is supposed to feel like it moves very quickly, followed by two weeks where it will feel like they are doing nothing. Can't wait. Here is where we were early this morning.

Coming up next ...... I am on vacation for the next two weeks and will be up at the cottage for most of it. It's a very unseasonable summer so far, cloudy and rainy, so I am sure I will have more time to fashion interesting posts. I'm thinking it's time to introduce you all to our cast of characters .... our contractor, our design guy, our architect.

Until next post,


Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 5, Week Two, The Foundation

So this week, we're watched two things closely - the weather and the parking spot in front of our house.

The weather because of the cement. It needs clear sunny days to be poured, and to set. Lucky for us, we have had a rain-free week. So far, so good. We're making progress.

And then there's the parking spot. Turns out the street parking spot right in front of our house is the most critical aspect of this whole project so far. The large trucks, cement mixers (see photo above), back hoes etc. that need to creep onto our narrow city lot need to do so from the curb. The husband has had more than one every early morning call notifying us that someone is parked exactly where they can best block the trucks. We lived in that house for three years, and nobody ever parked in front .... for some reason, it has become the hottest spot on the block. We even have these pylons -- huge, orange and black striped pylons. And still they park. I have now taken to swerving wildly down our old street at any opportunity, so I can heave those huge pylons thingys in place to block the evil cars.

The husband informs that the cement was poured to form the footings, which are the slabs of cement that form the outline of the house. Then they placed the wrongly named "weeping tile" which as far as I can tell is a bunch of hoses snaking through the basement floor. I get the "weeping" - the "tile" is where is falls apart for me. The husband and his BFF had an incredibly boring conversation the other night about the weeping tile. I can tell you that I was near weeping after ten minutes of that.....

It was strange to see the house outline and I can't decide if it looks larger or smaller than I imagined. Strange, but kind of cool to know we will have laid eyes and stomped around the house from the ground up - literally. We're walking around the pit of our new foundation, imagining the rooms, the view. The lot looks large (by downtown standards) but the trees look lonely. Don't get me started on the kids' play structure encased in weeds at the back of the lot.

Next week: the forms and basement walls. And I think we have to order a whole pile of windows.......